As assistant director for collections in the Harvard University Herbaria, David Boufford has done fieldwork in Asia since 1977 and in China since 1980. His early explorations in China took place in the central part of the country, where the flora is similar to that of eastern North America.
In 1988, with Bruce Bartholomew of the California Academy of Sciences, he collected in the easternmost part of the Hengduan region in eastern Sichuan, and in 1995 he organized an expedition to the border of Tibet, in south central Qinghai.
Since 1997, Dr. Boufford has worked on determining the western and southern boundaries of the
Hengduan Mountain hotspot while continuing to collect specimens of vascular plants, bryophytes, and fungi.
He has also done fieldwork in Bhutan, Japan, South Korea, Nepal, and Taiwan.
Associate curator Susan Kelley is responsible for developing and managing the Arnold Arboretum’s digital mapping system. In 2000, she became the first non-Asian woman to participate in an extensive botanical field expedition in Tibet. She had previously done fieldwork with Taiwanese botanists in the mountains of Taiwan.
Rick Ree received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 2001 and became assistant curator in the botany department of the Field Museum of Natural History in 2003. Initially interested in the Passifloraceae (passion fruit family) of the New World tropics, Ree became intrigued by the diversity of the flora in the Hengduan region and the question of why so many closely related species had evolved in such close proximity. His doctoral dissertation was a detailed study of a small part of the highly diverse genus Pedicularis (louseworts), whose greatest concentration of species is in the Hengduan Mountains.
Joseph Rock, began his career as a botanist but quickly became interested in the people of the Tibetan borderlands of China. From 1920 until 1949, Rock collected plants for various United States institutions and agencies, including the United States Department of Agriculture, the National Geographic Society, the U.S. National Museum, and Harvard University. As he continued to explore, taking photographs and making maps, his botanical activities became the means by which he continued his intense study of the Naxi people. His 27 years in China provided us with a greater understanding of the flora and a record of the social, political, and religious institutions of the region.
Chinese and American Expedition Members
Following is a list of botanists and mycologists who participated in fieldwork during the three-year NSF-funded project to inventory the biodiversity of the Hengduan Mountains of south central China.
Akiyama Shinobu, Tokyo National Science Museum, 2000
Bruce Bartholomew, California Academy of Sciences, 1998
David Boufford, Harvard University Herbaria, 1997, 1998, 2000
Chen Wenyun, Kunming Institute of Botany, 1998
Chen Xiao, Kunming Institute of Botany, 2000
Michael J. Donoghue, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology,
Yale University, 1997, 1998
Gao Lianming, Kunming Institute of Botany, 2000
David S. Hibbett, Harvard University Herbaria, 1997
Ikeda Hiroshi, Okayama University of Science, Japan, 2000
Jia Yu, Institute of Botany, Beijing, 1997, 1998, 2000
Susan Kelley, Arnold Arboretum, 2000
Miyamoto Futoshi, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 2000
Brian A. Perry, Harvard University Herbaria, 2000
Richard Ree, Harvard University Herbaria, 1997, 1998, 2000
Sun Hang, Kunming Institute of Botany, 1998
Michio Wakabayashi, Makino Herbarium, 2000
Wang Zheng, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 1997, 1998
Wu Sugong, Kunming Institute of Botany, 1998, 2000
Yang Jiankung, Kunming Institute of Botany, 2000
Yang Zhen, Biology Institute of Xizang Plateau, 2000
Yang Zhuliang, Kunming Institute of Botany, 1998
Yin Kai-pu, Chengdu Instititute of Biology, 1997
Ying Tsun-shen, Institute of Botany, Beijing, 1997
Yue Jipei, Kunming Institute of Botany, 2000